Google Maps for iPhone Hits 10 Million Downloads
December 18, 2012
By Tabitha Naylor, Contributing Writer
Last week, Google (News - Alert) Maps, which was released as an alternative to the Apple (News - Alert) Maps app, topped the iTunes chart immediately as iPhone users rushed to download it. In the first 48 hours after its release, Google Maps for iPhone was downloaded more than 10 million times.
"Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years," wrote Google's Jeff Huber.
From the launch of the first iPhone (News - Alert), in 2007, Google Maps was the default maps application on Apple's iOS devices. However this summer, Apple replaced Google Maps with its own maps app, releasing iOS 6. Nevertheless, Apple Maps was soon found to be filled with errors and omissions.
Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook stated that Apple had fallen short on its commitment to its customers and thus apologized for the problem. To make the 'report a problem' feature more prominent, it encouraged users to report problems with Maps and revised the layout of the application. The company announced in October that the executive responsible for iOS software, including Maps, Scott Forstall, would be leaving the company in 2013. The responsibility for Maps was then given to Eddy Cue, who runs Apple's Internet software and services.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Cue recently held talks with Foursquare (News - Alert), the mobile app that lets users 'check-in' to places and recommends local shops and services. In a bid to improve the data used by its Maps, Apple is said to be in talks with several companies. Foursquare, the Journal reports, has amassed business listings, and collects data about the relative popularity of places as well as user-generated tips that could help Apple's mapping service stand out.
Apple's challenge is not only to win back users who have switched to alternatives, but also to improve its own maps. Google Maps for iPhone includes StreetView and turn-by-turn navigation along with public transport directions.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman